types of sales persons shaking hands in a group
middle aged woman using relationship selling techniques on cell phone
woman smiling while using laptop
Relationship Selling

Relationship Selling Articles: Our Complete List

Table of Contents:

Relationship selling is the latest phrase in a decades-long trend to reshape how people think about selling. We can’t deny it, either–sales has long been a snubbed profession. So, what makes adding the word “relationship” to selling so special?

The truth is, it’s not necessarily anything new. Ethical salespeople already know it’s not about boosting your numbers as high as possible; it’s about making connections and serving clients’ needs.

However, that doesn’t mean those in sales roles–like real estate agents and brokers–can’t learn how to be more personal. That’s what this collection of relationship selling articles is all about.

We walk you through the basics of relationship selling all the way through detailed relationship selling techniques. We’ll continue adding to this master guide as we publish more content on relationship selling. Go ahead and get started!

woman smiling while using laptop

Relationship Selling: What Is Relationship Selling?

At first glance, relationship selling may sound like a weird matchmaking service. Then again, who wouldn’t want to find the love of their life by leveraging the right professional connections?

Thankfully, actual relational selling is far from that odd pipe dream. So, what is relationship selling?

Relationship selling is the practice of transparency and mutual interest in the relationship between sellers and buyers. It’s a sales technique that emphasizes the personal connection a seller has with a buyer, not the transaction itself.

But what differentiates relational selling from real estate marketing ideas, and how do you sell authentically? Find the answers to these questions and more in this blog post. 

Relationship Selling Focuses On…

Relationship selling focuses on four areas of business activity: self-mastery, offering solutions, understanding customers and their values, and efficient business strategy. Each of these components build upon the other and without one of them your relationship selling techniques will fall flat. Let’s examine each of them and learn why each one is a must-have. 

Self-Mastery

Before you can become a master at sales, you must master your own thoughts, feelings, and actions. This is one of the most difficult aspects of selling and is therefore one of the most important. 

Self-mastery is the process of being fully aware of your inner self so you can understand what is guiding your actions. It’s only human to be influenced by the people and activities around you, but those with self-mastery rise above the noise. They commit to striking clarity in their goals, excellent performance at work, and incredible transparency in their relationships. 

Offering Solutions Instead of Selling Products

The crux of being an expert at relationship selling is knowing when and where to offer a solution for a problem. In sales, you’re tempted to ask for the sale and get hefty commissions whenever possible. After all, in order to sustain a career in sales, you do have to close deals. 

But that is precisely where most people get their priorities switched up. It’s common for inexperienced salespeople to ask for the sale early and often. They’re excited by the idea of making money and want to show others how effective they are. 

Instead, when you’re most tempted to push, you should be pulling. In other words, it’s more effective to listen to someone as they share their pain point, then evaluate how you can help them. 

As an old sales axiom goes, “People hate being sold to, but they love to buy.” When people are buying, they aren’t usually excited about the product or service itself. They’re excited about the emotional satisfaction or relief the purchase provides them.

Take real estate for example. Is anyone excited about the materials that make up the four walls of their house? Nope. They’re thrilled about the new emotional realities the home creates, such as spending time with loved ones and relaxing in a new space.

The best sales professionals in the world don’t try to sell people products; they position their solutions as the answers to people’s problems. This type of customer-first thinking takes effort to embrace, but once you adopt it, it works wonders for you.

woman using relationship selling while talking on the phone

Understanding Customers and What They Value

The next area to focus on in your sales relationship is your customers and what they value. All too often, sales professionals project their own values and interests onto their prospects. 

It’s human nature to be concerned with yourself–your own thoughts, needs, and emotions. But this is a roadblock when applied in a sales environment. If you’re only concerned about closing a deal, you’ll come across as desperate or selfish. 

As soon as you pivot and place your client’s needs front and center, you’ll be amazed at how much they open up. People share a lot more information when they sense you’re genuine.

When your prospect is speaking, use what experts call global listening. This is a listening technique that prioritizes everything the speaker is saying, including their non-verbal communication. It means listening not just to prepare a response, but to truly put yourself in their shoes.

Responding to your client at the right times is necessary, but you don’t want to do it in a shallow or hasty manner. This will communicate that you aren’t really interested in them, you just want the deal. 

Wait to respond until your client has finished talking. This gives them time to complete their thoughts and strengthens your patience when listening. Over time, this will feel natural to you and clients will want to share even more with you. 

Efficient Business Strategy

Even if you’re a people person and know how to generate real estate leads, you’ll still need new people to talk to down the road. If you also have a high closing rate, that’s all the more reason to have an efficient system for inbound sales leads. 

The business systems you have in place (or the lack thereof) create the environment you do your work in. If you’re spending every free hour looking for your next client, chances are you don’t have reliable systems in place. You may also be ignoring why a smaller number of strong leads is good for business, which keeps your prospecting efforts focused.

Successful business owners know they need to delegate and systematize in order to give their best to clients. As a real estate agent or broker, your most important work is done in conversations with clients. 

There are dozens of tools, social media marketing strategies, and business approaches that can make your work more effective. Rather than doing all of them simultaneously, it’s better to choose a couple proven methods and go all-in. One such approach is researching email marketing tips.

If you’ve asked yourself, “When is the best time to send an email?” That’s a great place to start. Email marketing has limitless benefits when used wisely. 

yellow chair in living room

Trust-Based Relationship Selling

It’s no secret that strong relationships are built on trust. So why does trust seem to disappear when people are discussing a potential sale? It’s because both your and your prospect’s natural defenses go up. 

Relationships between humans are reciprocal by their nature. When someone asks something of you, you tend to want something in return. It’s normal to want whatever you’re investing in to produce a worthwhile return on your time and money. 

If you’re new to your role, it’s even more important to begin building trust with clients. There are several ways you can accomplish this, including but not limited to: 

  • Asking them questions about their needs
  • Sharing testimonials
  • Demonstrating your value in explicit ways 
  • Scheduling in-person conversations and walkthroughs
  • Listening twice as often as you speak

You don’t need to use all of these at the same time; just one or two that make sense in context. The common thread in each of these practices is placing client needs above your own and learning how to build trust.  

Relationship Between Buyer and Seller

At its core, relational selling is understanding buyer and seller relationships. Different types of sales persons create nuances that take a lifetime to understand and master. With the right information and plenty of practice, you can go from using only transactional selling to being confident with the relational side. 

It’s important to note that the buyer and seller take on different forms based on what sales scenario you’re in. For example, you may be involved in an equity sale one day, versus a bank-owned sale the next month.

Different types of transactions attract different buyers, too. Some people are looking for properties in excellent condition, whereas others are looking for a fixer-upper. The relationship between buyer and seller will depend on these factors and more.

There’s a lot going through the minds of both sellers and buyers. Here’s a quick overview of both:

Buyers are thinking about:

  • If they love the property or not
  • If they can afford the home
  • Repair, maintenance, and closing costs
  • If their agent is helping or hurting the process

Sellers are thinking about: 

The more you can place yourself in the mind of your client, the better. It helps you understand how to start conversations, ask follow-up questions, and close deals.

Each of these skills are necessary for thriving in real estate. Stepping into the mind of your client is also the fastest way to get more referrals.

Winning With Relationship Selling

Understanding any sales technique on a deep level has the power to strengthen your relationships and generate plenty of profit. That’s why it’s so important to have the right mental foundations as a sales professional. 

Winning with relational selling is simple and effective when you keep a few principles top of mind. Here is how to look at all of your sales conversations moving forward: 

  • Center yourself. It’s near impossible to present as trustworthy when you’re stressed or nervous. You should know which of the four types of sales persons you are so you can maximize your conversations. You can leverage mental tools to get yourself in the right state of mind. These include putting your personal world aside, reminding yourself of past wins, and optimizing your schedule. For example, avoid talking with clients when you’re tired–you’re unlikely to be at your best. 
  • Put your client’s needs first. It’s pretty obvious at this point, but prioritizing your clients’ interests is the path to success. Everyone is interested in what other people can do for them, so as soon as you flip the script, things start to change. When your clients win, you automatically win. There’s no reason not to help people with what they’re looking for! 
  • Keep learning. In order to be the authoritative source that everyone looks up to, you need to continue learning. After years of being in the industry you may feel like you know everything, but the true masters recognize how far they still have to go. 

With a clear understanding of relationship selling basics, it’s easier to perfect its nuances. Relationship selling is a skill that you build across a lifetime by putting into practice in a variety of ways.

Next up in our relationship selling articles collection is an overview of six techniques to focus on in your career. Keep reading to discover the details.

middle aged woman using relationship selling techniques on cell phone

Relationship Selling Techniques: 6 Concepts to Master

If you haven’t heard of relationship selling before, don’t worry–you aren’t necessarily late to the party. Though the term has been thrown around the sales world for years, it only recently rose to popularity outside of sales-specific roles. Mastering relationship selling techniques in real life is a whole new challenge, though.

Relationship selling is the act of putting your client’s needs first and prioritizing a great sales fit, rather than merely transacting. It’s the process of understanding what your customer needs and thoughtfully evaluating what you can offer them. 

This sales approach is even more useful today, when consumers get sold to just about every waking hour. People are going to tune you out if you don’t treat their needs as valid. So, what are the relationship selling techniques you need to know? Keep reading for all the details. 

Relationship Selling Process

The relationship selling process is full of smart moves. Some may be intuitive to you, some may be brand new. No matter where you are in your relational selling journey, you’re bound to find great material below. 

Just like other professional pursuits, embracing the right principles prepares your mind. Sales is a difficult career and you won’t get far without focus. Let’s start with the foundation of the relationship selling process, which is understanding buyer needs. 

Understand the Three Core Buyer Needs

The three things every buyer wants is feeling seen, heard, and understood. These are universal human needs that can be met through relationship selling techniques while still fostering trust between two people. 

Bear in mind that you don’t need to become “buddies” with your clients in order to sell effectively. Some mistakenly (and understandably) believe that relationship selling means building personal relationships. There’s no need to stay in touch with clients outside of work conversations, but they should feel that they can trust you, and vice versa. 

Below you’ll find each of the three needs and strategies on how to meet that need: 

Feeling Heard

Listening well is the first of three needs and it’s the easiest to fulfill. You can make someone feel heard no matter what your first interaction with them consists of.

Whether you used email templates for real estate agents to send a cold email or are meeting face-to-face, specific behaviors communicate you’re aware and listening. Here are the essentials of both digital and in-person listening: 

Digital Full Body Listening

  • Refer to them by their preferred name. Communication through the Internet is already impersonal, but avoiding names only makes it worse. One of the best relationship selling techniques is using your client’s name. This shows you care about them on an individual level and that you’re willing to invest in serious conversations with them. 
  • Respond to each of their questions. The flow of communication in person is a little different, but online people observe your every word. That’s why it’s essential to respond to each question your prospect has. It validates their concerns and shows you treat them as important. It also demonstrates you value communication, because your client doesn’t need to fear asking too many questions. 
  • Respond in a timely fashion. The world is busy and people understand that you can’t always get back to them right away. However, the Internet age has brought new expectations about communication with it. Set aside at least two times per day to respond to emails–preferably several hours apart. This way you’ll catch most of the emails you receive and those you’re speaking with understand you’re reliable.
  • Use good lighting and audio on video calls. Video conferencing existed before COVID-19, but after that point it became ubiquitous. Video calls are increasingly prevalent in real estate, where anything can happen at a moment’s notice. To maintain a professional image, you should only take video calls when your personal tech supports it. Dimly lit room? Add a couple lights in the right places. Audio sounding tinny or fuzzy? You need a new mic. These are relatively inexpensive investments that ensure a positive impression in your clients’ minds. 
  • Follow up if you have more questions. A tricky aspect of digital communication is that sometimes things fall through the cracks. If you don’t understand what your prospect is getting at, ask them a friendly follow up question. Nine times out of 10, your recipient will be happy to clarify. This saves you from assuming the wrong information or making a mistake later on. 

In Person Full Body Listening

Listening well in face-to-face conversations is just as, if not more important than emails and video calls. Most face-to-face conversations go well, but it helps to be prepared for all kinds of scenarios. 

Here are six relationship selling techniques for in-person, full body listening: 

  • Make eye contact in the right proportions. When listening, you should make eye contact a little more than two thirds of the time. When speaking, you only need to make eye contact about half of the time. The subconscious mind sees these frequencies as friendly and safe when speaking with others. 
  • Listen twice as much as you speak. It is a little trite, but speaking half as often as you listen is sage advice. Listening is about putting someone else’s perspectives and needs before your own; making sure you hear their thoughts is necessary. To develop this skill, practice not thinking about how to respond until your speaker is done. This prevents listening to respond, rather than listening to understand. 
  • Have most of your body faced toward your client. Relationship selling techniques include critical aspects of body language, like this one. Some professionals view every conversation as a potential transaction, so they don’t meet someone “at their level.” If you’re shifted to one side or looking away though, your client will believe you don’t care. Sit up straight and face comfortably forward in your conversations. You’ll appear confident, alert, and open. 
  • Avoid having your feet pointing away from your prospect. Included with general body language is your feet. Research shows humans evolved to see someone with their feet pointing away as a signal that they’re about to leave the conversation. Over thousands of years this has held true, and you don’t want your prospects to get the wrong message. Keep your feet pointed straight ahead or slightly askew. 
  • Center yourself during tense conversations. As a real estate agent or broker, you’re bound to have a few conversations that go sideways. Rather than responding in kind, take a moment to mentally center yourself. A calm mind leads to a calm demeanor, and this is vital in sales roles. Experts recommend reminding yourself of a couple things. One, angry people are rarely angry at you; it’s typically a situation. 
  • Ask clarifying questions. Just like digital conversations, clarifying questions are key. If you don’t understand something or feel like information is missing, ask about it. The worst that can happen is your client may get temporarily frustrated. The alternative is that you heard something incorrectly and end up paying for it later on.

Feeling Seen

If you barge into a conversation putting all the emphasis on yourself, you’re going to get a lot of complaints. Clients want to feel seen, and it’s a key part of how to build trust with a client. 

Use these four relationship selling techniques to ensure your clients feel seen: 

  • Treat each client like an individual. When you’re talking with dozens of clients per week or month, it’s hard to remember who’s who. Rather than showing each of your clients the same properties, show them listings and ask what they’re interested in. Chances are your prospects will know what they want to look at beforehand, too. This makes it easier to understand their preferences.
  • Ask them about topics outside of home buying. You know that friendship isn’t necessary with clients, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly. Asking prospects what they have planned for the weekend or what they like to do for fun are lighthearted, low key questions that just about everyone is comfortable answering. 
  • Maintain buffer time between meetings. Don’t make the mistake of booking back-to-back meetings. Not only do you risk cutting a meeting short, you may end up late to your next meeting. Plus, you never know when a meeting will go well and you’ll run longer. Add at least 15 minutes between phone calls and however much time you need between in person meetings. 
  • Smile appropriately and be personable. Though it’s intimidating meeting new people, everyone wants to feel safe around strangers. That includes your client, and yep, you guessed it–you’re a stranger to them at first. Show your human side by greeting them warmly and thanking them for their time. You don’t need to be over the top; you just need to be someone they’d be comfortable talking to at a bar. 

Feeling Understood 

Feeling understood is the third need prospects have when speaking with all types of sales persons. People want to feel like you aren’t treating them with a one-size-fits-all approach. They know they aren’t your only client but that’s no excuse to treat everyone’s needs as identical. 

Let’s look at three ways to help your clients feel understood through relationship selling techniques:

  • Validate what your client is saying. A simple way to help someone feel understood is paraphrasing what they say. This doesn’t mean you need to repeat everything they say, but do acknowledge some of their statements. It eliminates misunderstandings and keeps conversation flowing. 
  • Offer customized solutions whenever you can. Real estate is one of the few industries where no two products are alike. As such, you need to make use of relevant real estate marketing ideas to reach your target audience. Consumers know this and often do a comparative market analysis with 10 houses before deciding on one. That’s why holding an open house is important. Lean into this by asking what they look for in a home and reviewing your listings for similar properties.  
  • Share facts rather than making it about your opinion. Clients want to feel like they are in the driver’s seat. Part of this is keeping facts at the center of your conversations. It can be tempting to share your own unsolicited viewpoints, but remember that every client is different. Stick to relationship selling techniques that work in every context and you’ll be golden.

Hold a Deep Discovery Call or Meeting

Setting the right foundation with your clients involves a full-fledged discovery call. Unlike intro calls, this is a 30-60 minute meeting that allows you to ask deep questions and figure out exactly what they are looking for. 

You should prequalify clients prior to discovery calls so you don’t waste your time or their time. Prequalification involves questions like “Have you met with a lender and gotten pre-approval yet?” and “How much are you pre-approved for?” This may seem like overkill, but it prevents you from talking with people who aren’t serious about home buying or don’t realize they need to get pre-approved. 

Discovery call questions are deep by design and draw out info via relationship selling techniques. You can use questions like these to get to the heart of your client’s goals: 

  • What piqued your interest about this listing or working with me?
  • Do you have an idea of the home you want, or are you open to different styles?
  • How far are you into your home buying process?
  • Are there any others who should be involved in this decision?

At the end of the conversation, be sure to thank your client for their time. Let them know you’re there if they have any other questions. 

Don’t wrap up the call until next steps are identified. Whether that’s a first or second showing, a conversation they need to have with their partner, or whatever else, ensure they are getting it on the calendar. Then simply wait until the scheduled time to follow up and you’re good to go. 

Develop Trust

Trust is the fuel that allows relationship selling techniques to take off. Without it, professionals don’t know that their prospects are interested, and prospects have no reason to invest in the conversation. 

Trust is the largest immaterial factor in a business conversation yet also the most important. It takes time to develop and yields the biggest rewards when used.

So how do you cultivate this all-important characteristic? 

  • Take conversations at a reasonable pace. If you’re rushing through a sales conversation, your prospect may feel like you’re pushing something. A confident salesperson doesn’t rush because they know what they’re offering is valuable. A reasonable pace allows your lead to consider your offer and come up with questions. 
  • Tell the truth. This is one aspect of relationship selling techniques that can’t be contrived. Twisting the facts to land the deal can ruin trustworthiness faster than almost anything. If your client is young or inexperienced in home buying, don’t take advantage of that. Answer them the same way you would a third time home buyer or someone your same age. They’ll respect you and know you’re a reliable source of information. 
  • Be a man or woman of your word. An important part of trust is promising only what you can deliver. Clients often want to know how much a house price can be reduced, or how much it can be increased if they’re selling. While you might be tempted to tell your client they should list their home for 5% higher, don’t do it if you know 1-2% is more reasonable. Your client won’t be happy if they trust you only to find out your recommendation is keeping buyers away. 

Offer Value to Your Buyer

A top reason real estate agents get into the industry is to help clients find wonderful new homes. As you develop insights and successfully close deals, you have a perspective on real estate that no one else has. 

This becomes your own value–a kind of experiential knowledge that no other agent can provide. As such, it’s important to share this value with buyers whenever you can.

They hired you over dozens of other agents they could have chosen. That’s great, because it shows you understand how to market yourself as a realtor. So how can you offer incredible value through proven relationship selling techniques? Here are a few tips: 

  • Become an expert in your market area. Successful real estate agents often know a lot about the region they work in. They’re familiar with the best bars and restaurants, popular entertainment choices, school districts, and transportation options. Home buyers pay attention to the culture and neighborhood safety of places they want to move to, so having a local expert to speak with clarifies such information. 
  • Share facts about the neighborhood during showings. If your client is moving to the area for the first time, chances are they don’t know many neighborhood details. If you’ve taken the time to research parks, trails, and recreational areas, let your client know. Many home buyers love houses that are near outdoor activities and biking trails. It also improves the first impression clients have of the home, which can make it easier to close.
  • Attend business and restaurant openings. Staying on the cutting edge of your market area will put you ahead of competitors. When other agents are still sharing the same four restaurant names with their clients, you can mention that a brand new one just opened up a few blocks away. Your clients will be impressed with the freshness of your knowledge. This also boosts the likelihood your clients will refer their friends to you, which is a key driver of new business. 
  • Answer questions or offer to follow up if you don’t have the info. One of the best ways to offer value is simply answering questions. Serious buyers will have several of them, and the more you can answer, the more value you provide. Don’t fret over being unable to answer a question, though–you can always follow up when you know more. 

Don’t Push the Deal

Being confident and not pushing the deal are two more relationship selling techniques. It requires patience from new and experienced agents alike because agents are usually ready to close the deal quickly.

The typical home buyer looks at about eight to nine homes before putting in an offer on one. If you’ve caught the buyer early on in their home buying journey, you’re in luck. With the professional and friendly attitude you bring to the table, you can simply help your buyer continue browsing. 

Continue asking your client questions and conducting new showings for them. When they’re ready to take the next step, you’ll be a phone call away. 

Buying a home is a considerable financial and emotional investment; no one wants to be rushed through it. Think about how you would want to be treated during the process, and give your client the same respect. 

If the house they’re looking at is popular, it’s more reasonable to coax them along. Missing the opportunity to put in an offer is more inconvenient than thinking about it but not getting the chance to. 

Outside of that, simply be your best and let the process do the rest. Great homes can sell themselves to the right buyers; all you need to do is facilitate the conversations through relationship selling techniques. 

Follow Up After Every Meeting

Following up after each meeting is essential in real estate. It’s wise to develop a follow up system so you can maximize your resources as an agent.

Selling homes is a matter of responsiveness, professionalism, and relationship selling techniques. This means that you can’t afford to do manual follow up for every meeting. 

If you just had a prequalifying phone call and your prospect will talk to a loan officer next, an automated email follow up is fine. You can set this up in your email service provider (ESP) or any email application that allows you to send triggered emails. Your prospect will get an email thanking them for their time and pointing them to your calendar for the next conversation. 

If you conducted a first showing for a buyer or in-person meeting, phone follow ups are recommended. It’s a deeper level of investment for you and often communicates honesty and reliability to your clients. 

What Is Relationship Selling In Marketing?

Relationship selling in marketing is any technique or approach that balances the input of the marketer with the consumer. As an example, relationship marketing may invite the consumer to shape the outcome or function of the product, rather than all decisions being made by the marketer.

Crowdfunded products are a form of relationship selling in marketing. Crowdfunded goods and services are prototypes that designers share online to see how popular they would be in real life. Based on the number of people who show interest and pledge money for it, the product or service will become successful. If not enough people like the prototype, it won’t get made. 

Another kind of relationship marketing is sending surveys. Surveys allow customers to indicate what they like and what they want changed so you can offer a better service. 

Rather than assuming you’re doing everything well much of the time, you’ll find out through data if you are. When using a survey, make the feedback anonymous if possible. Survey respondents are more honest when they don’t need to attach their names to their feedback.

Trust that the majority of your results will be honest. Some people may be extreme, but most people want to tell the truth. See what people say and determine what you can do to make changes. This makes your service more appealing to future customers with fewer objections. 

With the foundation of relationship selling firmly beneath your feet, you can dive further into soft skills. One soft skills area is the different types of sales personalities.

Though every individual is unique, most sales people tend to fall into one of four buckets. The next section in our relationship selling articles series is the four types of sales persons.

4 Types of Sales Persons In Real Estate

Without sales skills, no business would survive. This is especially true in real estate, where building trust with your clients is necessary.

Learning about the types of sales persons in real estate keeps you informed. If you’re a new agent, this helps you identify what your innate skills are. If you’re a brokerage or company leader, you can create more effective training materials and guide your team to success. 

Every individual has their own style of course, but there are four basic types of sales persons in real estate. Keep reading to discover what they are as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each type. 

cream colored Rechat blog CTA image

The Relationship Guru

A relationship guru is your classic “people person.” They’re complete naturals at relationship selling. They are the people who find joy in conversations, meeting new people, and serving core client needs. 

Relationship gurus love to get to know people on their terms. These professionals are happy to do a dinner meeting, lunch call, coffee meetup, or whatever their clients prefer. They are of the mind that business will go well if their client is comfortable. To this end, they’re happy to adjust their own plans (within reason) if they’ll land an appointment or opportunity for doing so. 

Many relationship gurus can be described as gregarious, outgoing, hospitable, and even lively. They are motivated by connecting with individuals and serving needs rather than the size of their commission. 

Strengths

The strengths of relationship gurus include their hospitality, warmth, and flexibility. They barely need to brush up on relationship selling techniques or the ABCs of relationship selling, because it’s an innate ability for them. Relationship gurus strive to be the person anyone can feel comfortable sharing their questions with, and they build genuine connections because of it.

Weaknesses

Relationship gurus’ weaknesses can lie in not targeting the right kinds of buyers. Early on in sales careers, it can be hard to spot tire kickers. These are the types of people who ask questions and show interest, but don’t have any serious intent to buy. Because relationship-driven people are happy to connect with almost anyone, they may miss these characteristics and end up wasting time. 

What to Focus On

Relationship gurus should focus on setting a reasonable amount of appointments each week to start. Though they love to connect with people, overextending yourself leads to exhaustion and poor performance.

They should also be upfront with all of their prospects, as this sets conversations up for success. Being honest from day one about what one can and can’t do fosters respect in all of one’s business relationships. 

The Pumped Up Closer

The pumped up closer is one of the types of sales persons who loves the challenge of prospecting and closing deals. They’re typically high energy, somewhat (or very) aggressive, extroverted, and smooth with words. 

There’s no such thing as too many leads for the pumped up closer because they want as many conversations as possible. Learning why a smaller number of strong leads is good for business usually isn’t on their mind.

This type of salesperson is not deterred by prospects’ reluctance or unfamiliarity with their work. Pumped up closers are gratified by sealing another deal and becoming the best at what they do. 

Strengths

The strengths of this type are their extroverted nature, resilience, and familiarity with all kinds of questions. Though anyone can learn to be thick-skinned, pumped up closers seem to be born with this trait. Such professionals are drawn to sales roles at a young age and build knowledge on the go. This gives them experience that can’t be taught in a classroom and they become higher value the further their career takes them. 

Weaknesses

For all their energy, pumped up closers have soft spots too. One of their weaknesses is focusing too much on the deal and not enough on the person. Prospects want to know an agent has their best interests at heart when they’re learning how to find a good real estate agent. If pumped up closers aren’t careful, they can alienate leads before they ever get a chance to speak with them. 

What to Focus On

Pumped up closers do well to remember that everyone is human at the end of the day. Rather than viewing sales conversations as targets, see them as opportunities to understand people. The best sales professionals don’t have to push for the deal; they listen first and identify actions later. 

The Friendly Helper

The friendly helper is exactly as they sound–someone who loves helping people. They thrive by bridging people with solutions and vice versa. Friendly helpers are delighted to provide answers and support for their clients and seek out opportunities to do so. 

One can expect friendly helpers to be remarkably warm and personable–and they are. Traits that are often overlooked however are their quick-wittedness and resourcefulness. Because of the sheer number of people they’ve helped over the years, they often have an answer for every inquiry. If they don’t have an answer, they know where to point someone to find one. 

Strengths

Friendly helpers’ strengths are their powerful combination of personability and relevant input. They’re the kind that make buying or selling a home simpler because of how it feels. Rather than being a drawn out process of paperwork and legal requirements, it becomes a fun series of tasks that can be completed in short bursts. 

Weaknesses

One weakness of these types of sales persons is that they may have unrealized potential. Some professionals of this kind are generalists by nature, and they simply love pitching in where they can.

Other friendly helpers have become so because they’re reluctant to share their real gifts with the world. This can cause someone to effectively flounder at a low level, when what they’d much rather do is generate unique results. 

What to Focus On

Friendly helpers should focus on developing their strengths. While it’s incredibly useful to be helpful to all kinds of people, this often means you can’t provide specialized help when it’s needed most. 

Friendly helpers are likely to feel revitalized as they lean into what they do best. By identifying the types of clients they’ve served most often, they can uncover previously missed or misunderstood strengths. This brings out the best of their experience and gives them natural means to connect with new people.

The Proactive Consultant

Proactive consultants are one of the most complex types of sales persons and also the most misunderstood. While most people can wrap their minds around the idea of an outgoing or super friendly salesperson, fewer people understand where a different personality fits in. 

The proactive consultant is a keen individual that seeks customized solutions for clients. They understand that no client is the same, and accordingly, no response should be one-size-fits-all. This type of salesperson tends to read often, sharing their findings in conversations with colleagues and friends. 

Strengths

A proactive consultant strives to make the most of every interaction. They treat every client as their last and aren’t satisfied offering mediocre service. This type of real estate agent may take notes at every appointment, keeping detailed records of clients’ needs. 

This level of care and attention gives them a clear advantage over reluctant and inexperienced agents. Clients who feel valued and seen are more likely to open up, making it easier to close deals. Proactive consultants balance their professional insights with individualized attention–a powerhouse combination. 

Weaknesses

Proactive consultants are remarkable at noticing the details, but sometimes they spend too long on them. Despite their genuine efforts to find just the right home, consultants may forget that they aren’t the ones in the driver’s seat.

Clients are the ones who decide yes or no, and it’s to the agent’s benefit to remember this. Rather than trying to find a perfect answer all the time, simply listen well and let the client speak on the rest. If a customer doesn’t like a property, they will let you know. 

Proactive consultants may also forget they can’t read minds. Even though they bring years of experience to the table, insight never replaces the human touch. Being friendly and open-minded is the perfect complement to the consultant’s robust analytical skills.

What to Focus On

While other types need to lean in and pay attention to the details, proactive consultants benefit from the opposite. Since this type is already focused on the nitty gritty, stepping back to review existing listings for a good fit is beneficial. 

The proactive consultant wants to offer something unique to every client, but is relieved when they discover they don’t need to. Not every home buyer is looking for an exceptional home; many simply want one that meets their needs. By placing less pressure on themselves to be perfectionists, they can still drive business without as much stress. 

We hope the above section helped you discover your strengths as a sales professional. It may have also helped you uncover your weak areas, which you can compensate for with a proper perspective.

Remember, too, that no sales pro is perfect. It’s not about closing every deal, but about serving the clients who do work with you to the best of your ability.

Once you’re ready to become a master of sales psychology, you can dive into the most granular of our relationship selling articles. The ABCs of relationship selling is the ultimate list of moment-by-moment skills that every real estate agent needs. Check it out now.

stack of books on a shelf

ABCs of Relationship Selling: The Only 26 Skills You Need

Selling is one of the oldest professions known to man, and there will always be a need for it. Every business wants to reach new customers with their goods, and to do that they need effective salespeople. 

Sales is a numbers game, meaning if you generate enough conversations and follow through well, you’ll eventually close deals/ You have to be persistent in order to land new conversations though, which is why you need multiple sales skills. 

Breaking sales down into simple, repeatable skills will get you through the roughest conversations. That’s why we created the ABCs of relationship selling. Whether you read the whole blog post in one sitting or pick and choose what you need right now, this is the only list of sales skills you’ll need.

A – Attention

A stands for attention in the ABCs of relationship selling. A couple decades ago, the Internet changed business activity as we know it. Instead of handling deals in person or over the phone, websites and video calls meant you could transact with anyone, anywhere in the world. 

Now that the Internet touches so many areas of our lives, it has caused a new phenomenon. When you can go anywhere online to look up information, it matters less that answers exist and more what kind of answers you’re looking up. In other words, the attention you give to a website or business is valuable. 

That’s as true for real estate agents as it is for clients. When you’re prospecting and booking meetings, are you affording your attention to just anyone? Or are you prequalifying leads every day? If the former, you’re giving time and attention to people who may not value it. Think carefully about the leads you give attention to and whether or not they’ve met any prequalifications. 

B – Brevity

Though some people like this certainly exist, it doesn’t represent the typical salesperson. Most sales professionals these days are kind and knowledgeable–making it easier to have conversations with prospects. 

When you think of sales, are you picturing someone who talks a lot? If so, you wouldn’t be alone. Many people still have the impression that salespeople are sleazy chatterboxes motivated solely by money. Thankfully, that’s not the case, as there really are different types of sales persons.

That’s also why brevity is so important. Today’s consumers are informed and have more options than they’ve ever had. They don’t want to hear a monologue from you when all they need to get started is a few key details. Let the conversation develop naturally, and you can’t go wrong. 

C – Conversations

In most published sales literature, C usually stands for “close.” Of course, closing is essential for business, but it’s not what you want to be your focus in relationship selling. 

Conversations, rather than closing, is the C in the ABCs of relationship selling. Have you discovered what’s important to your prospect? Do you know what kind of buying timeline they’re on? If not, these are questions you need to be asking. 

The best way to do so is starting a natural conversation. Get to know your prospect on their level. Try to match their rate of speech and level of eye contact, too. These are little-known, yet ethical hacks that increase your influence over someone else. People subconsciously feel more comfortable around those who loosely mirror their behavior.

D – Depth

Reaching depth in conversations is necessary in an industry like real estate. Today’s consumers are savvy. They know another agent is right around the corner if they need one, so it’s in your best interest to be authentic from the first conversation. 

The tricky thing about depth is it’s built one step at a time. You can’t dive right into a client’s favorite house characteristics if you haven’t prequalified them yet. On the flipside, if you wait too long to build real rapport, your client may think you’re hiding something. 

The best way to cultivate depth with clients is taking it slowly, but intentionally. For each question you ask, wait for them to answer and see if they answer in kind. Is their response suspiciously brief? Do they answer reluctantly, or are there several pauses in their answer? This is a sign they aren’t comfortable with some aspect of your communication. 

If so, it’s important to reflect on your own communication. Are you speaking too fast or too slow? Are you asking too many questions and not making it conversational enough? Prospects will feel more comfortable opening up if they don’t feel like it’s all about sales. 

Use informational and personal questions to take the pressure off the transaction. What has them looking for a new home? Are they looking for a home they can live in for five, 10, maybe even 15 years? This builds depth in a non-sneaky way while moving the conversation in the right direction. 

E – Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is the E in the ABCs of relationship selling. It should be on every agent and broker’s list of relationship selling strategies. No one wants to talk with a salesperson who doesn’t even seem excited about the conversation. 

Enthusiasm can be best described as real happiness about talking with someone and getting to know them. It’s not forced extroversion that leads to you doing all the talking, or cheeky behavior designed to replace serious conversation. It’s a genuine energy that surrounds your conversation and manifests through your natural passion for selling homes. 

The thing about enthusiasm is prospects know it when they feel it–and you will too. If you’re looking forward to the conversation, you won’t need fake ways of pumping yourself up. You can simply greet your client warmly and start asking them about their week. Then let the conversation continue to flow naturally! 

F – Failure

Yes, failure–it’s inevitable that you’ll face it multiple times throughout your career. To be human is to fail, but that doesn’t mean you are a failure. Learning from your mistakes is crucial if you want long-term success. 

First, let’s consider a few forms of failure in real estate. You may miss an appointment, forget to follow up, lose a deal, or not know how to generate real estate leads. These are all disappointing experiences that can cause you to wonder if moving forward is worth it. 

The good news is yes, you can move forward. But first you have to learn what happened and how to be better moving forward. Did you forget an appointment? Book everything through your online calendar and sync it with your phone. 

As an old saying goes, failure can be your greatest teacher if you’re willing to be one of its students. Everyone fails at times, so remember that what’s happening to you isn’t unique. This can be the catalyst needed to keep your business moving forward. 

G – Gratitude

If there’s one concept author Larry Kendall emphasizes in his book Ninja Selling, it’s gratitude. Kendall, founder of The Group (a real estate brokerage in Colorado), encourages his team to practice thankfulness daily–a big part of the ABCs of relationship selling.

Kendall writes that gratitude is a key perspective unlocking the biggest opportunities in life. If you’re grateful for what you already have, you place yourself in the right mindset for success. You start to see opportunities to serve others everywhere, which leads to more opportunities for you. 

Gratitude is essential in relationships too. If you’re thankful for each new sales conversation, you’re far more likely to treat your prospect with respect and understanding. Without gratitude, they’re just another sales call in your calendar. You’ll miss the chance to build a new connection and get potential referrals down the road. 

Before you start your workday, think of at least three things you’re grateful for. This is an exercise in humility and shows that you can never become so successful that there aren’t things to be thankful for. It also keeps your attitude in check, preventing rude or calloused interactions towards clients. 

H – Handshake

One may expect H to stand for honesty (and that would be a great choice). The importance of honesty and truth is covered later on. 

Handshake was selected for H because of its underrated importance. Research indicates about 70% of people aren’t confident in giving a handshake, which is all the more reason to have yours down. A firm but friendly handshake improves your relationship selling skills.

One, it communicates professionalism. As an agent or broker you need to be able to set the tone for the conversation. If you start off reluctant or as though your lead has all the power in the conversation, it’s unlikely to go well. 

Two, it shows you’re confident. A weak handshake–even if it wasn’t intentional–communicates reluctance and immaturity. Your prospects are shopping for the biggest financial purchase in their lives and want someone who knows what they’re doing.

Your handshake is one of several nonverbal elements that communicate your self-management habits. People–including clients–want to work with others who are confident and gregarious. Practice your handshake with an honest friend or family member until it feels natural. 

I – Intentions

I stands for intentions in the ABCs of relationship selling. What’s the importance of intentions? It determines why you’re in business and what you’ll spend your time on. 

Real estate is an industry driven by relationships above anything else. If your motivations for starting in real estate include helping people find homes, you’re already ahead of those who just want to make a quick buck. 

Intentions are rarely formed overnight, however. It’s smart to first write down all of the reasons you want to be in this industry, and then start associating them with actions you can take. 

For example, one of your intentions may be to “help 100 people find their next home within the next five years.” This is achievable, but how will you make it happen? You need to reverse engineer your goal through your intentions. 

Given that you want to close 100 deals in five years, that’s about 20 deals per year. If the average real estate agent closes about 12 deals per year, and they make about 60 to 100 cold calls per week, how many would you need to make? You’d need to place about 120 to 200 cold calls a week minimum to hit your long-term sales target. 

As you can see, intentions can reveal your goals. If your intentions don’t provide enough clarity on what your goals can be, you need to change them. Refine your intentions until they point directly to your goals. 

J – Joy

J stands for joy because it’s a big part of becoming successful! It’s similar to enthusiasm, but in a sales context, joy is finding happiness in daily opportunities. 

When starting with relationship selling, you will have tough experiences. You’ll have prospects who treat you poorly even though you didn’t do anything bad. Some prospects will grill you with every question under the sun, some that aren’t even relevant–just to try to get under your skin. 

You may even have conversations that start off well but turn sour after a time. These are difficult occurrences to bounce back from. Even so, it’s important to take something away from such interactions. 

Can you find a learning opportunity in a conversation that went south? Were you reminded of something you can work on in your business? Though not fun questions, there’s almost always a silver lining to unexpected events.

Beyond being joyful in hard moments, you can practice joy as a daily attitude. What conversations are you excited about today? Are there any events coming up that you’re looking forward to? Reflecting on your day, what went well that you’re thankful for? These are all joy-inducing mindsets that can change your world one week at a time. 

K – Kindness

Kindness should already be part of what you do, but it’s also included in the ABCs of relationship selling. The skill of kindness goes a long way in every interaction, no matter what you want to accomplish. 

What does kindness look like in a practical sense? First, it looks like acknowledging someone else. You can sense kindness in how someone speaks to you, their smile, and body language. When you speak with clients, strive for conversations to feel like talking with a friend. This doesn’t mean befriending your clients; it means treating them with hospitality and personality. 

Second, kindness is about your behavior. If for some reason your prospect grows impatient or has more questions than your typical client, take it all in stride. You are there to serve them, and if they have different needs than another client, that’s okay. The only time to limit interactions is if a client becomes abusive, including yelling, blatant ignorance, or defaming your character. 

Third, kindness is about going beyond what’s expected. Most people expect average service… because most professionals provide an average outcome. Kindness is the ingredient that boosts an average experience to an incredible one. Whether it’s writing a card of congratulations to a new buyer or canceling a personal meeting to go above and beyond for a client, there are infinite ways to be kind. 

L – Listening

This wouldn’t be a thorough article on relationship selling unless it included listening! Listening is likely the most important skill in your entire relationship selling toolkit. 

It may sound obvious to some, but when listening you must put your speaker first. Keep your body language attuned to them, make eye contact, and affirm what they’re saying. Allow them time to finish their thoughts without interruptions. If anything seems unclear, ask them clarifying questions so you don’t assume anything. 

Practice these same behaviors whether you’re talking with a brand new lead or a previous client. Everyone deserves the same level of respect, regardless of how much or little business they’ve done with you. 

M – Mind

In the ABCs of relationship selling, M is for mind. Selling real estate is inherently filled with strong emotions. As such, it takes a smart person to keep themselves collected in the midst of tough conversations. 

That’s where your mind comes in. Driven real estate professionals understand that the mind is their greatest battleground. If you’re letting your energy get tossed around by every ghosted meeting or dead-end call, you’ll become distracted. Instead, you need to prepare your mind before every workday. 

You don’t need to have the same mental preparations as everyone else, but there are numerous examples to find inspiration from. Some journal their thoughts for 15 minutes as soon as they wake up. Others spend 30 to 60 minutes exercising. Still, others practice gratitude by meditating or praying which clears their mind of toxic thoughts. 

Whatever works for you, put it in your schedule and don’t make any excuses. When your mind is clear and sharp, your interactions with clients will show it. They’ll sense a confident, grateful person who is eager to serve. That’s right where you want to be!

N – Neighbors 

In real estate, the importance of warmth and hospitality can’t be overstated. That’s why N stands for neighbors, which is how you should strive to treat everyone. 

You don’t need to get to know every neighbor in your neighborhood, but it’s incredibly useful as a sales mindset. Every prospect you meet–young, old, experienced, and new–is someone’s family member or neighbor. Everyone is a parent, sibling, friend, child, or coworker to someone else. 

With this perspective, it’s much easier to treat prospects with grace and friendliness. Most people are willing to hear your pitch, possibly more, if you treat them the way you’d want to be treated. You’ll be surprised by the degree to which people open up when they realize you’re human, too. 

O – Openness

A healthy degree of openness in your daily conversations with clients is essential. If you go into meetings thinking you already know what the outcome will be, you’re asking for conflict. 

On the other hand, if you go in knowing what your ideal outcome is but stay responsive to feedback, you’re in an excellent position. Being a skilled sales professional isn’t about pushing your way through; it’s about understanding your client’s needs. 

In order to understand people, you have to be open to them. Practice taking time during sales conversations specifically to paraphrase back what you’re hearing. This is a crucial element in the ABCs of relationship selling! 

P – Power

With a title like power, you may think this paragraph is about how to get more of it. That would be too easy, though. Maintaining power properly isn’t about accumulating more; it’s about understanding how to use it.

Power is a misunderstood word. Many people are taught that power can only be used in a negative fashion, such as a tyrannical politician or abusive family member. While these things do happen, and they are examples of power, it’s only one potential use of it. 

Power is rightly thought of as a tool. Take a hammer for example. When used appropriately, a hammer applies force to nails, which are driven into bodies of wood. This process can be used to make a wood structure or repair something that’s broken. A hammer can also be used inappropriately, such as trying to attack someone with it or simply pounding away without any nails in sight. 

Seen this way, the outcome of power depends on who has it and why they are using it. For example, as an agent you have power that your clients don’t. You’re better at negotiating prices, valuing property, and spotting the trends in a local region. You can use this power to lower costs for buyers or increase them for sellers. 

Understanding power is understanding its ethical uses. The more influence you discover you have, it’s important to use it wisely. Don’t leverage your power for your own gain. Look closely for ways both you and your clients can benefit. In many cases, helping your clients succeed creates wonderful testimonials for your business.

Q – Questions

Asking questions is at the heart of learning the ABCs of relationship selling. Questions are one of the many tools we use to communicate as humans. 

Asking a question engages your prospect in the conversation and invites them to share about themselves. When you ask questions, you:

  • Show you’re invested in your prospect or client
  • Add a personal touch to conversations
  • Uncover valuable information
  • Clear up potential misunderstandings 

Questions open the door to deeper understandings for both clients and agents. The better you become at asking questions, the more natural your interactions will feel. 

Instead of wondering what to say next, you’ll have an intuitive feel for the conversational flow. You may not even need to prepare questions after a certain time because it will just happen. 

Remember to balance your questions with statements, too. If all you’re doing is asking questions, it will feel more like an interrogation than a conversation. You want to show your human side. You can accomplish this by sharing facts about yourself and commenting on the topic of conversation.

R – Rapport

Learning how to build rapport is one of several essential relationship selling techniques. It combines the sales side of your profession with the personal and human side. 

Everyone wants to feel like they are a human being with valid needs and emotions–especially because that’s true. Creating a personal selling environment with your leads is easy when you know what to do. Let’s take a look at the essentials: 

  • Start with a smile and firm handshake. If you’re meeting your prospect in person, this is a must. These nonverbals communicate confidence and respect. If you’re doing a video or phone call, be sure your voice expresses enthusiasm at the top of the call. This is exemplified by a slightly higher tone and somewhat faster pace of speech. 
  • Mirror your client’s body language. Indirectly imitating body language is an ethical means of persuasion. Whether you’ve learned about it or not, people tend to like those who mirror their bodily positions. If someone is standing up straight, they’ll feel more comfortable talking with someone who also has great posture. If someone’s leaning back while sitting in a chair, relaxing your own posture will help them feel open around you. This is a nonverbal way to communicate that you’re safe and approachable–even if it’s your first time meeting someone. 
  • Ask them how their day is going. This is a simple, unassuming question that helps your prospect feel at ease. It doesn’t require them to share any private information and it communicates that you care. It helps you understand your client better without getting too personal. 

S – Selling

Ahh, yes–S must stand for selling in the ABCs of relationship selling! It’s too fitting, and after all, sales is a learnable skill. 

Selling is a skill you can practice your entire life and never become a master of. That’s why it’s vital to get as much practice as possible. 

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to get over in selling is the fear of rejection. It’s natural to worry that each person you talk to will say no–which holds hundreds of salespeople back. 

I hate to break it to you, but rejection is inevitable. There will be leads who reject your offer just because they didn’t like how you said it. Prospects will find all kinds of reasons to avoid doing business with you, but you can’t let this get you down. You must persist through each difficult moment to find the next opportunity. 

Remember that by selling, you’re helping meet people’s needs. The purest form of selling isn’t pushing a product on someone or trying to get them to make a decision they’re resisting. Real selling is helping people discover that the ideal solution to their problem exists in your product or service. 

T – Truth

In sales, it’s still common to believe that altering the facts to win business is an acceptable move. You may be afraid the price point is too high, the offer isn’t right, or there’s a bad product-to-market fit. Tweaking a couple details is about as tempting in these situations as ever. 

However, your reputation as a professional depends on you telling the truth. You must stick with the facts even if that means using different real estate marketing ideas. 

Telling the truth is essential for growing a client base. It’s closely related to reliability, which means you’ll do what you say you’ll do.

When you tell your client you can only negotiate a 1 to 2% price increase, they may be a little disappointed. But this is far better than telling them you can fight for a 5% price increase, only to find out that you were desperate for their business. 

If they agreed to work with you and found out you couldn’t deliver on that opportunity, their trust will be broken. It will be harder to win back because you could have told the truth from the beginning. 

U – Understanding

Stephen Covey, author of the world-renowned The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is famous for saying: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” His statement isn’t just a nice thing to hear; it’s both true and practical. 

Taking time to understand your prospects is crucial. It’s a deep process of putting your own ideas and preferences aside to hear what your client has to say. This is often referred to as global listening, or listening to understand your speaker–not merely to respond. 

This means not just listening to the words your client is saying, but understanding the meaning behind their words. Tone of voice represents about 38% of what is being communicated in any given conversation. If you neglect these details, you’re missing a key part of what’s being communicated. 

Understanding what people are saying and why gets easier over time. The more you listen to people and different kinds of people, the better listener you become. 

V – Volume

No, this isn’t referring to speaking volume (though it’s always good to watch your voice!). This is about keeping your sales pipeline full so you never run out of conversation opportunities. 

Anyone with sales experience knows that generating sufficient lead volume is integral to success. Even if all of your appointments end with a sale and clients are happy to refer you, you’ll run out of leads at some point. You need a system that’s bringing in fresh leads every month so you can focus on serving clients. 

How can you maintain a high volume of new leads? Here are a few strategies you can implement within a few days: 

  • Designate some time each week for lead generation. You won’t have new people to talk with if you aren’t inviting people through your digital door. Agents and brokers need at least one semi-passive means of generating leads–and the time to set up such a system. Look over the last month and determine when you were the least busy. This is a great time to blog, make social media videos, or update your lead magnet. Schedule this same time every week, and before you know it you’ll have a consistent stream of leads whenever you want them. 
  • Segment your contacts into cold, warm, and hot buyers. Another way to keep your volume high is organizing your contacts. Everyone you talk with is going to be a slightly different point of the buyer’s journey, but you can categorize them into cold, warm, and hot. Most of your leads will be in the cold category, as you’ll be contacting them for the first time. These are people who don’t know you or your offer yet. As leads respond to your phone calls and emails, move them into the warm or hot categories. Warm leads are those familiar with your offer but not ready to buy, and hot leads are those actively considering a purchase. Remember to check out our ultimate guide to email marketing if you need help maximizing the inbox.
  • Track the follow up stage that each lead is in. For this technique you’ll need a fairly detailed spreadsheet. Make a spreadsheet with the following columns: Full Name, First Follow Up, Second Follow Up, Third Follow Up, Needs Time To Think, Not The Decision Maker, Didn’t Respond, Price Too High, Requested No Further Contact, Other Reason. As you follow up with each lead, check the numbered follow up columns. Then as you speak with leads, mark down the objection they have. While it’s a good rule of thumb not to follow up too heavily, experts say leads don’t die off until 18 months after the initial interaction. This gives you a year and a half to keep them on your follow up list. 

W – Wait

Waiting is something most people don’t want to do. Indeed, we spend a lot of time waiting for opportunities, conversations, weekends, and even meals. So, what does the word wait have to do with selling? 

It turns out waiting has a lot to do with relationship selling. Waiting is borderline magic if you know how to use it well. 

In sales, it’s hard to hold back from asking for the sale. As soon as it seems like your prospect is even halfway there, you want to close the deal and secure your commission. This is also the most important time to sit back and let your client make the next move. 

Many people feel it’s impolite to say no, even in sales conversations. Since they’re already sitting there with you, if they don’t say yes to the offer, they may not say no. Waiting gives them time and space to consider what their next move is. The more authentically you give them space, the more comfortable they’ll feel moving forward.

X – (E)xuberance

There aren’t always relevant words that start with the letter X, so we went with exuberance here. It’s difficult to build a successful career in sales without energy, so this word is well worth its section. 

Exuberance is the state of being lively, cheerful, and excited. It’s right up there with enthusiasm and creates fresh experiences out of otherwise monotonous conversations. 

With all the talk of liveliness and exuberance, you may be wondering, “How do I stay genuine in these conversations?” After all, walking into every interaction with fake levels of enthusiasm won’t do you any good. Your prospects will see through it and wonder what got into you. 

Exuberance is best used authentically and at the beginnings of conversations. You should be excited to meet a new potential client. If not, that’s a sign you probably shouldn’t have booked the meeting! 

As long as you’re being yourself, relaxed, and smiling, you’ll do great. Let your natural enthusiasm for real estate shine through, and you won’t have a single concern about the outcome of the conversation. 

Y – Yes Set

Sales is a tough skill to develop; there’s no doubt about it. Even sales professionals with decades of experience may still dread rejection and silence from leads. Developing an approach with prospects that won’t scare them off is challenging.

If you’re thinking there must be a smarter way to increase your close ratio, you’re correct. One of the best ways to persuade your leads towards a deal is by putting them in a yes set. 

A yes set is the mental state of having responded “Yes” to several previous questions. For example, let’s say you’re raising money for a non-profit. Instead of asking someone to donate right away, first you may ask them, “Hey, do you enjoy supporting causes you’re passionate about?”

They are likely to respond yes. Then you ask them, “You’re interested in helping homeless animals find forever homes, right?” Chances are they’ll say yes again. Now that you’ve put them in a yes set, when you ask for a donation to the organization, they’re far more likely to say yes. 

Getting your prospect in a yes set works wonders for your conversations. The best part is it’s an ethical strategy; asking questions means you genuinely want to know the answer. There’s nothing wrong with prompting your lead with questions you anticipate they’ll say yes to. 

Z – Zero In

Having all the sales skills you need is excellent. So, what comes after education? Zeroing in on goals and putting them into action.

Every successful business has goals that its staff is reaching toward. Without goals, you’re simply moving forward and hoping for the best. With specific, measurable goals, you’ll be much more likely to grow your profit and expand your sphere. 

Goals aren’t worth much unless they’re written down. To help you get started, here are essential questions to ask and write your answers to: 

  • What is the biggest obstacle in your business right now? Is it a lack of leads? Perhaps you have leads but not enough time? Whatever you’re facing, identify it right away. Your answer indicates what you need to spend most of your effort on. 
  • What’s the most important goal you can achieve within the next week? What is one task you can finish within the next week based on your first answer? Mark it down on your calendar along with the amount of time you need to get it done. 
  • How can you structure the above two matters into a longer term plan? Being productive in the short term is great, but it won’t lead to lasting change without consistency. Looking at the first task you completed as well as your end goal, you should be able to reverse engineer the steps in between. Is your end goal hiring an assistant who can handle paperwork for you? Creating a job description, interviewing candidates, and making a selection would all be middle steps. 
  • Who is going to keep you accountable? Any worthwhile goal includes an accountability partner. Make sure you pick someone who you trust and who will actually hold you to account. In most cases this is a mentor, coworker, or friend. Avoid choosing family members as accountability partners. While they love and support you, they’re the least likely to push you when you’d prefer to quit.

Thank you for reading our complete collection of relationship selling articles! We will continue adding to this pillar post as we create more content.

Be sure to check out our other comprehensive resources below:

Back to Top